02 April 2011

April Fool's Shenanigans

So, despite the fact that I had to work from home this April Fool's and wasn't able to pull a physical prank on anybody at work, I did manage to do a few pranks, which you can read after the break.
The first thing I did was made the image you see to the left and posted it online. Then I used Google's URL shortener to obfuscate the image's URL and keep track of how many people I managed to fool. Now, the fun part.
First victim: The office administrator at work
Background: On March 31st, she asked me if I wanted a Jack in the Box taco she had left over and I declined, citing that I did not like them. She proceeded to tell me how much she loved them, how good they were, etc., but I refuted and said they were, to me, terrible.
Deciding to play on this, I sent her the following over Skype:
"Found this and thought you should read it: 'Survey shows Jack's tacos best overall among diners' http://goo.gl/jsbuS"
Sure enough, she fell for it and clicked the link, responding with how she thought it was hilarious.
Second victim: My boss.
Background: About a week or two ago he bought a new wireless-N router because he was complaining that his Logitech Revue didn't get enough bandwidth so that he could stream and watch movies. After telling us how much he paid for it, my coworker did a quick search and found the same router for cheaper, to his chagrin. Needless to say, I had my ammo, and I took advantage of it.
Just as I did with my office administrator, I sent my boss a message over Skype:
"Good morning! You got a Cisco router, right? If you did they're offering a manufacturer's rebate of $20 if you bought one in the last month: http://goo.gl/jsbuS"
To which he responded "Thks", and immediately afterword: "Smart ass :)" I got a real good kick out of that one.
Third victim: My best friend.
Background: About two months ago, I invited my best friend and his wife over to hang out, where we played a little Kinect. The both of them thought it was great, but ever since my best friend's Xbox 360 red-ringed, he switched over to the PlayStation 3 and continues to despise Microsoft's offering. He figured that it would be cool to be able to play FPS games with Kinect, but would be awkward without something to hold. Alas, Killzone 3 answered his call a couple weeks later when it came out with compatibility with the PlayStation Move, and he was excited. However, I knew from chatter on the Internet by gaming industry reporters and critics, the Move wasn't as big a hit as the Kinect, and decided I'd use this to my advantage. So I sent him this text message:
"Hey, looks like Sony is killing off the Move because they're [sic] isn't enough attraction to it over the Kinect. You might want to hold off on getting it and Killzone 3 if you haven't gotten it already: http://goo.gl/jsbuS (case sensitive)"
He didn't have the 'Net on his phone, so I knew I'd have to wait a while for a response. We exchanged a few more unrelated texts before I replied:
"You should check out that link though."
And his response:
"perhaps i wasnt going to get all that shit anyway...i think the total cost is around 200..they say its worth it though if you get the 3d version of the game"
Oh man, I've got him pretty good. By the end of the day, I still don't think he got it, but I'll be meeting up with him later so I'll have a chance to check if he actually did check the link.
Last victim: Anyone who read my website/blog and Facebook.
Background: None.
I wrote an admittedly obvious joke post about landing an independent contract to work with Cyberdine, the fictional corporation that created Skynet in the Terminator movie franchise. When I first started writing it, I didn't think it was going to be a convincing enough post. However, as the post went on, I started coming up with creative tie-ins with real-life, and even managed to squeeze in a reference to IBM's Watson platform. I thought it was hilarious, especially with how sincere it sounded. Ashley, of course, just rolled her eyes. I, on the other hand, was quite proud of the little work of fiction I wrote for myself.

All in all it was quite an amusing April 1st. I did have a lot of other ideas that I never managed to get going, mainly because I ended up working from home and am not in public that often, but in either case I still made the most of it. There were also lot of other things on the Internet that were pretty funny, and I even got duped on one of them thanks to a timezone difference. But, hey, its all in good fun after all.

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